The band is now 1/4 of the way through its contract, has made the music industry more than 3 million dollars richer, but is in the hole $14,000 on royalties. The band members have each earned about 1/3 as much as they would working at a 7-11, but they got to ride in a tour bus for a month. The next album will be about the same, except that the record company will insist they spend more time and money on it. Since the previous one never “recouped,” the band will have no leverage, and will oblige. The next tour will be about the same, except the merchandising advance will have already been paid, and the band, strangely enough, won’t have earned any royalties from their T-shirts yet. Maybe the T-shirt guys have figured out how to count money like record company guys. Some of your friends are probably already this fucked.
Should you think that an exaggeration, note that since The Ship , Eno has already released yet another critically acclaimed ambient album, Reflection —like its predecessor, a somber soundtrack for somber times. And like another endlessly productive multimedia artist of his generation, Laurie Anderson , Eno hasn’t only continued to make work that feels deeply connected to the moment, but he has adapted to wave after wave of technological innovation, this time around, harnessing artificial intelligence to create a “ generative film ” drawn from The Ship ’s title track (below).